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WTO Approves Suspension of US Copyright in Antigua 225

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the wto-only-applies-to-other-people dept.
hydrofix writes "On Thursday TorrentFreak broke the story (verified by BBC) that the government of Antigua and Barbuda, a tiny island nation on the Caribbean, was planning to launch a legal 'pirate' website selling movies, music and software without paying a penny to U.S. copyright holders. Now, the World Trade Organization has given its final approval for the Antigua government to launch the website. The decision follows from long-running trade dispute between the countries, related to online gambling, which was ruled in Antigua's favor in 2005. After the United States refused to compensate, the WTO granted Antigua the right to 'suspend' U.S. copyrights for up to $21 million annually." From the article: "The Antiguan government further reiterated today that the term 'piracy' doesn’t apply in this situation, as they are fully authorized to suspend U.S. copyrights. It is a legal remedy that was approved by all WTO members, including the United States."
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WTO Approves Suspension of US Copyright in Antigua

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  • Re:Karma is a.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @09:25AM (#42724917)

    Note that the summary even mentions the US, as part of the WTO, approved the ruling.

  • Re:Wait, What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by guises (2423402) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @09:55AM (#42725131)
    You're missing the point, if gambling were illegal in the US then the Antiguan casinos wouldn't have been able to petition the WTO for remedy. A country is allowed to dictate whether an activity is legal within its borders, but it is not allowed to make it legal for its own businesses while excluding a foreign competitor.

    If I recall correctly, this was something to do with horse racing in Kentucky (or was that another case?) where the Kentucky state government was attempting to protect gambling revenue by barring online casinos. There was a bit about suspending their domain names as well, a lot of judicial overreach on that one.
  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @10:29AM (#42725541) Journal

    Can I get someone in Antigua to send me a copy of Linux (or whatever) unencumbered by the GPL for me to start a proprietary fork?

    Unlikely. Linux has contributions from around the world, and the copyright on those certainly has not been suspended.

  • Re:Karma is a.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @10:32AM (#42725581)

    Note that the summary even mentions the US, as part of the WTO, approved the ruling.

    Wrong. The summary says that the US approved an agreement that allows rulings like this under certain circumstances.

    The US no more approved this ruling than the Senator from Arizona approved immigration reform -- which they just did contingent on securing the southern border. In neither case will they ever agree that the agreed-to condition has ever been satisfied.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:07AM (#42726003) Homepage

    What the hell? They had an opportunity to ask for something valuable and instead asked for all the crap put out by Hollywood? Why not just ask for a few beads on a string?

    It's not a case of asking. They're taking what they are owed because the US is refusing to compensate them.

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